Lots of people reacted to the news today that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an advance funding bill for the cash-strapped East Ramapo school district.
Cuomo signed the bill somewhere around midnight Wednesday (we’re told) after earlier in the day signing a home-rule request that will let Rockland County move forward with borrowing $96 million to start paying down its $128 million budget deficit. Read Laura Incalcaterra’s full report here.
For my story on the East Ramapo bill and the district’s take on it, go here.
For your reading pleasure, here’s a roundup of reaction from local politicians, all of which
did not fit into the story above.
State Sen. David Carlucci:
“I thank the Governor for his leadership and partnership in signing this important piece of legislation. The East Ramapo Central School district has major needs and this legislation is vital to restoring important program funding as well as implementing key oversight that will make sure the spin-up funds go where they are most needed. We must continue to bring communities together to work for the benefit of all the children of East Ramapo and across the Hudson Valley.”
Rockland County Executive-elect Ed Day:
“Though I am glad to see East Ramapo get this much-needed aid at no taxpayer expense, I am most heartened by the requirement of partial state involvement in the Ddstrict’s finances as a condition of the funding. I applaud this step, but I strongly believe that, necessary though it may be, it must only be considered a small first step.
“As such I once again urge Albany to pass S6687-2011: An Act to Amend the Education Law, in Relation to Intervention in Chronically Underperforming School Districts, which would set up a better system to allow the state to move in and appoint a caretaker school board if the NYS Schools Chancellor determines that the current one is not acting in the district’s best interest, and a caretaker fiscal director to correct budgetary issues.”
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee:
“The East Ramapo School Board expressed their concerns about the temporary advisory committee and was seeking clarification regarding its duration. While that already existed in the original lottery “spin up” legislation that the Governor signed, I introduced a chapter amendment (A.8125) to assure the Board that the temporary advisory committee extends oversight only for the duration of the $3.5 million and shall remain in effect only during the 2013-14 school year. All expenditures of the lottery advance must be determined by a committee composed of various segments of the school community. The chapter amendment will be taken up at the beginning of the next session in January 2014.”
Assemblyman Kenneth P. Zebrowski:
“Last night, Governor Cuomo signed the ‘spin up’ bill that advances lottery aid to the East Ramapo School District. The school district requested this aid in order to save programs for students. Over the past several years, the East Ramapo parents have made their point loud and clear; they want to be heard. Although this bill is necessary to save student programs, there must be oversight on how the money is spent. The bill addresses those concerns by soliciting community input to ensure these funds go directly to educational programs.
Read the full text of the bill at the handy dandy Open Legislation website: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A7514-2013